Afghanistan is "a war of necessity," Obama tells us. One of the justifications for the invasion was to liberate Afghan women from Taliban oppression. As Arundhati Roy of India commented, "We are being asked to believe the U.S. marines are actually on a feminist mission." Beyond puppets in Kabul, we hear little from Afghans themselves. Instead, there is a media parade of U.S. military, government officials, and think tank experts who talk about tactics. The right of the United States to invade and occupy other countries is never brought up much less challenged. So the discussions focus on: How many troops do we need? What should we do in Helmand Province? Are air strikes counterproductive? Does Gen. McChrystal have the right plans? In all of this Afghans barely count. What do they want and in particular what do Afghan women want?
Medea Benjamin is co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK. She frequently travels to and documents human rights violations in the Third World. She has lectured and written extensively on international issues and has been to Afghanistan a number of times.